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Smashed Green Beans and Potatoes with Pancetta

1 pound medium-size yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut in half crosswise
1 pound fresh young green beans, ends trimmed
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1/3 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Put the potatoes and green beans in a large pot and fill with cold water to cover. Set the pot over high heat and salt generously. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-high to maintain a lively (but not violent) simmer. Boil the vegetables until they are very tender, about 25 minutes

While the potatoes and green beans are cooking, place the pancetta in a medium skillet (I use a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet) and set over medium heat. Sauté the pancetta, turning it frequently, for about 10 minutes, until it has rendered some of its fat and has just begun to crisp and turn brown. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

When the vegetables are tender, drain them in a colander. Return them to the pot and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and green beans together as you drizzle. What you’re aiming for is a somewhat lumpy, textured mash—no need to purée completely.

With a spatula or wooden spoon, scrape the pancetta and drippings into the pot and stir to combine with the potato-bean mash. Season with salt and pepper

Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and drizzle with a little more olive oil if you like. Serve warm or at room temperature.


From: The Glorious Vegetables of Italy




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